Weekly Polling Analysis

Weekly Polling Analysis

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POLLING ANALYSIS
February 16-22, 2013

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According to Pew/USA Today, 51% of adults think the most important thing for policymakers to get done this year is a plan to reduce the budget deficit. 17% said gun legislation and 15% said immigration legislation.

According to Bloomberg, when given two choices, 49% of adults said a better way to create jobs and improve the economy is for the government to spend money on infrastructure, education and alternative energy. 44% said cutting taxes and spending is a better way to improve the economy.

According to Bloomberg, 35% of adults believe it is better to focus on spending cuts alone to cut the budget deficit. 59% believe spending cuts should be combined with tax increases. According to Pew/USA Today, 19% of adults want spending cuts alone; 3% want tax increases alone; and 76% want a combination.

According to Bloomberg, 51% of adults believe it is better to act now to make steep spending cuts; 54% think cuts should be delayed until the economy improves. According to Pew/USA Today, 49% of adults support delaying the sequester spending cuts while 40% think they should go forward.

Bloomberg asked respondents if they thought certain spending programs would be easy or hard to cut. According to the poll:

  • 9% think it would be easy to cut spending that helps the working class go to college; 23% said it would hard, but spending cuts should be made; and 67% said this type of spending should not be cut.
  • 11% think it would be easy to cut food stamp spending; 34% said it would hard, but spending cuts should be made; and 54% said this type of spending should not be cut.
  • 12% think it would be easy to cut infrastructure spending 33% said it would hard, but spending cuts should be made; and 54% said this type of spending should not be cut.
  • 25% think it would be easy to cut spending on environmental programs; 32% said it would hard, but spending cuts should be made; and 40% said this type of spending should not be cut.
  • 21% think it would be easy to cut spending on defense; 38% said it would hard, but spending cuts should be made; and 39% said this type of spending should not be cut.
  • 26% think it would be easy to cut spending for the arts and for scientific research; 31% said it would hard, but spending cuts should be made; and 39% said this type of spending should not be cut.

President Obama: Average approval from late January to late February was 50.6% according to RealClearPolitics. Average disapproval was 42.6%. (The average one week ago, which covered mid-January to mid-February, was 50.7%. Average disapproval was 42.8%)

Here are the polls released this week on Presidential job approval:

  • ARG: 49% of adults approve, up from 41% in February 2012. 47% disapprove, down from 53% one year ago.
  • Bloomberg: 55% of adults approve and 40% disapprove.
  • Pew/USA Today: 51% of adults approve, up from 47% in February 2012. 41% disapprove, down from 43% one year ago.

Gallup tracks President Obama’s job approval on a weekly basis. The average one week ago (Feb. 4-10, 2012) showed 52% approved and 42% disapproved. The latest weekly numbers available (Feb. 11-17, 2012) showed 51% approve and 43% disapprove. Last year at this time (Feb. 13-19, 2011), 45% approved and 47% disapproved.

Rasmussen conducts a daily tracking poll. One week ago (Feb. 15), 53% approved and 46% disapproved. On Feb. 22, approval was 52%; disapproval was 47%. Last year at this time, the President’s approval was 50% and his disapproval 49%.

Congress: Average approval for early January to early February was 15.6% according to the RealClearPolitics average. Average disapproval was 78.7%. (The average one week ago, which covered early January to early February, was 15.6%. Average disapproval was 78.7%)

Here are the polls released this week on Congressional job approval:

  • Gallup: 15% of adults (19% of Independents) approve and 81% disapprove.

Right Track/Wrong Track: According to the RealClearPolitics average, which covered mid-January to mid-February, 37.2% think the country is headed in the right direction while 55.5% think it is headed in the wrong direction. (One week ago, the right track average, which covered  mid-January to mid-February, was 37.2%. The wrong track average was 56%.)

Here are the polls released this week on the direction of the country:

  • Bloomberg: 37% of adults think the country is headed in the right direction and 54% think it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Rasmussen: 38% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction and 54% think it is headed in the wrong direction.

ISSUE SPECIFIC

Budget Deficit & Spending:
According to Pew/USA Today, 70% of adults think it is essential that Washington pass a plan this year to deal with the budget deficit. 21% think it can wait for the next few years and 4% think Washington shouldn’t pass a plan to tackle the deficit.

According to Bloomberg, 16% of adults think the national debt will be better in 12 months, 56% think it will be worse, and 25% think it will be the same.

According to Bloomberg, 62% of adults think this year’s budget deficit will be bigger than last year’s, 6% think it will be smaller, and 28% think it will be the same.

Bloomberg asked respondents to define how much of the federal budget they thought certain programs took up. According to the poll:

  • 28% of adults think education spending takes up 20% or more of the federal budget; 48% think it takes up between 2% and 20% of the federal budget; 17% said less than 2%; and 7% were not sure.
  • 60% of adults think defense spending takes up 20% or more of the federal budget; 23% think it takes up between 2% and 20% of the federal budget; 7% said less than 2%; and 10% were not sure.
  • 50% of adults think Medicare and Medicaid spending takes up 20% or more of the federal budget; 31% think it takes up between 2% and 20% of the federal budget; 10% said less than 2%; and 9% were not sure.
  • 43% of adults think Social Security spending takes up 20% or more of the federal budget; 36% think it takes up between 2% and 20% of the federal budget; 11% said less than 2%; and 10% were not sure.
  • 31% of adults think foreign aid spending takes up 20% or more of the federal budget; 34% think it takes up between 2% and 20% of the federal budget; 22% said less than 2%; and 13% were not sure.
  • 39% of adults think food stamp and unemployment benefit spending takes up 20% or more of the federal budget; 40% think it takes up between 2% and 20% of the federal budget; 12% said less than 2%; and 9% were not sure.

According to Gallup, 36% of adults (35% of Independents) think the federal government spends too much on defense spending. 35% (40% of Independents) think it spends about the right amount and 26% (12% of Independents) think it spends too much.

President Obama approval on the issue:

  • Bloomberg: 35% of adults approve and 55% disapprove.
  • Pew/USA Today: 47% of adults approve and 43% disapprove.

Debt Ceiling:
According to Bloomberg, 21% of adults think the debt ceiling should always be raised when necessary, without precondition. 71% think it is right to require spending cuts when the ceiling is raised.

Economy & Jobs:
According to ARG, 43% of adults think the economy is in a recession while 40% say it is not.

According to Gallup, “Americans continue to remain as upbeat about the economy as they have been at any point in the last five years. Although they are still more negative than positive about the economy overall, their -11 score on Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index this past week is three points off the five-year best of -8 from two weeks ago.”

According to Bloomberg, 37% of adults think the economy will be better in 12 months, 25% think it will be worse, and 37% think it will be the same.

According to ARG, 44% of adults think the economy is getting better, 40% think it is getting worse and 15% say it is stuck in neutral.

According to ARG, 6% of adults think the economy is in excellent shape, 4% think it is in very good shape, 36% think it is in good shape, 22% think it is in bad shape, 10% think it is in very bad shape, and 21% think it is in terrible shape.

President Obama approval on the issue:

  • ARG: 45% of adults approve, up from 41% in February 2012. 50% disapprove, down from 53% one year ago.
  • Bloomberg: 47% of adults approve and 49% disapprove.
  • Pew/USA Today: 40% of adults approve and 56% disapprove.

Entitlements:
According to Bloomberg, 15% of adults think Social Security will definitely be there for them when they retire. 39% think it will probably be there; 30% think it will probably not be there; and 13% think it will definitely not be there.

According to Bloomberg, 14% of adults think Medicare will definitely be there for them when they retire. 43% think it will probably be there; 30% think it will probably not be there; and 9% think it will definitely not be there.

According to Bloomberg, 59% of adults support creating a sliding scale for Social Security where poor beneficiaries would receive more and the wealthy. 35% oppose this idea.

According to Bloomberg, 63% of adults support creating a sliding scale for Medicare where poor beneficiaries would receive more and the wealthy. 31% oppose this idea.

According to Bloomberg, 51% of adults believe major overhaul of Social Security is need in order to substantially reduce the budget deficit. 39% do not.

According to Bloomberg, 58% of adults believe major overhaul of Medicare is need in order to substantially reduce the budget deficit. 32% do not.

According to Bloomberg, 64% of adults support reducing Social Security COLAs in order to keep the program solvent. 27% oppose such an idea.

Government Shutdown:
According to Bloomberg, 64% of adults believe a government shutdown should be avoided; 28% think a government shutdown wouldn’t be all that harmful.

Regulation:
According to Pew/USA Today, 71% of adults support increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. 26% oppose such a plan. According to Rasmussen, 54% of likely voters favor raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. 34% are opposed while 12% are not sure.

Taxes:
According to Rasmussen, only 13% of adults think that’s a good idea to tax health insurance benefits provided by employers 73% oppose the idea and 14% aren’t sure.

According to Rasmussen, 39% of adults think tax deductions help middle-class Americans the most, while 44% think those deductions are more beneficial to upper-income taxpayers. 17% are not sure which group benefits the most.

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